Letters to the Times of Malta, 24. January 2002
Nicky Bianchi, Lija.
I add my voice to that of many others who condemn the nauseating behaviour of a few fools whose only concern in life is that some other fool may shoot dead a beautiful bird before they can have a go.
I also condemn Minister Francis Zammit Dimech's statement (January 22) that "The fines contemplated were harsh in themselves...". Is he living in the same century as the rest of us? A maximum fine of Lm500 is insignificant when compared to what is spent on entertainment these days.
Perhaps he thinks that the life of a graceful bird is worth a lot less than Lm500. What is a dead swan worth? Dr Refalo tells us that a stuffed swan is worth Lm500 on the open market, a pathetic co-incidence. You may draw your own conclusions as to how much of a deterrent the present maximum fine is. A few months behind bars would be much more appropriate. This is, in fact, the maximum sentence in more enlightened countries.